By Ikechukwu Uche
CALABAR- CROSS RIVER State Government has embarked on massive rehabilitation of rickety portions of roads and streets in Calabar Metropolis, covering Odukpani, Calabar Municipality, Calabar-South Local Government Areas to ease the sufferings of citizens.
Governor Ben Ayade
NDV had reported the deplorable state of road in the metropolis, which led angry residents to resort to self help, as government was reportedly not living up to expectations. In reaction, government assured it would commence rehabilitation works.
The current maintenance across the metropolis is being carried out by the Cross River State Road Maintenance Agency, which had given out phone numbers for residents to report any ditch, potholes and road eat up by flood in their areas.
Government also extended the scope of work to dualisation of the high way from Odukpani Junction to Tinapa Business Resort Junction as well as the beautification and extensive landscaping of the entire city in a bid to increase the greenery and add to the aesthetic beauty and scenery of the metropolis.
Residents query commencement from Calabar Municipality
However, residents, commuters and road users, who spoke to NDV, criticized the rationale for commencing rehabilitation from Calabar Municipality, saying it should have started from Calabar-South being the most affected.
Speaking with NDV, Mr. Benjamin Onofiok , a resident of Airport Road in Calabar South, said: “ We are aware that the government of Prof Ben Ayade has started working on the road and closing all potholes and beautifying the roundabout as well as landscaping the whole environment, but it should have started in Calabar –South because before you know it ,the contractors or whoever involved will forget us here.”
“We have been neglected and forgotten, we appeal to him to give them directives to start from Calabar South because the population here is much. We commend his effort because we know he is sincere with making our roads, streets and the city clean and green again but we want them to fix Calabar –South first,” he stated.
Our suspicion, by Ekpo
Another resident and taxi driver, Mr. Jacob Ekpo, asserted: “It is true rehabilitation works on the roads in Calabar have commenced, even beyond that, they have also awarded a contract of changing the street lights to LED so that it can work effectively and efficiently but they should include Calabar –South . In fact, the project should have been kick-started from the southern part of Calabar.”
“The LGA is densely populated and the vehicular movement is quite high so they should have started here (Calabar-South) before going to Calabar-Municipality where we have less people. In fact, we believe they started from there because that is where government people live, they should remember us, we know the governor has good intention, but his aides should tell him the truth. Calabar south is lagging behind in terms of infrastructural development,” he added.
We’ll cover all nooks and crannies —Ita, CPS
Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ayade, Mr. Christian Ita, assured that it would take the repairs to all the nooks and crannies of the city.
“We have been planning this, we hope to start in August, but you know how climate change has practically changed everything and Cross River been in the heart of the rain forest with over 60 per cent rain forest, which makes it a rain prone zone.”
“This affected our master plan on road rehabilitation, but we have started in earnest and we hope to reach every corner in the city be it Jebbs , Anatigha and other interior and remote places. This administration has zero tolerance for potholes. No part shall be left out by the end of November.
“The agency, other contractors shall be working round the clock and we have put out phone numbers for people to call us and report potholes and flood destroyed roads in their area so that it can be fixed.